Sundance Turns the Big 3-0 by Trace De La Torre


Los Angeles — With Sundance Film Fest just hours from lighting up screens — there’s something more perceptibly INDIE about this year’s line-up than usual (hitting the big 3-0 maybe?) — surely adding to all the merrymaking that marks the annual film festivities.

Here’s my Top 10 film picks that will everyone buzzing in 2014:

1.) Cooties

Directors: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Cast: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Jack McBrayer
THE BUZZ: Already bought by UPI for territories including the U.K. & Germany — ‘Cooties’ is pegged as the breakout hit of the midnight section — plot centers around a mysterious virus that breaks out in a remote elementary school transforming students into freak zombies…

dear white people  2.) Dear White People  
Director: Justin Simien
Cast: Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Dennis Haysbert
THE BUZZ: A satire centered around four Black students attending an Ivy League College in the midst of a riot caused by a popular ‘African American’ themed party on campus.

3.) Frank     frank
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal
THE BUZZ: A quirky bio-pic comedy starring Fassbender as mysterious 80’s pop singer Chris Sievey/Frank Sidebottom promises to be draw — even if I never heard of him.

4.) God’s Pocket     God's Pocket
Director: John Slattery
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro
THE BUZZ: Wow — WHAT A CAST — based on the 1983 novel by National Book Award Winning author — Pete Dexter — this drama stars Hoffman as a man whose son dies in a supposed accident in the gritty blue-collar neighborhood of ‘God’s Pocket’.

5.) Laggies      Laggies
Director: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell
THE BUZZ: A bit more commercial fare — this dark Dramedy stars Keira Knightley as a commitment-phobe who runs off to hang out with a 16-year old friend to stall on her decision after her boyfriend’s marriage proposal. Sounds quirky.

6.) Life Itself     Life Itself
Director: Steve James
THE BUZZ: A heartrending documentary shot during the last four months of Roger Ebert’s life. Bring the tissue.

Get the 1st look here:

7.) Love Is Strange     Love is Strange
Director: Ira Sachs
Cast: John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei
THE BUZZ: Touching Dramedy about the consequences a gay couple — played by Lithgow & Molina — face when they tie the knot after 38 years together. Shot in Manhattan & Brooklyn also stars Marisa Tomei. Bring the tissue, chocolates, and Gummi Bears.

8.) The Skeleton Twins

skeleton twins
Director: Craig Johnson
Cast: Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell
THE BUZZ: Estranged sibling twins cheat death on the same day without knowing it — karmic forces bring them back together to do some bitter-sweet soul-searching — especially about their love lives.

Click HERE: to hear filmmaker Craig Johnson talk about his film ‘Skeleton Twins‘ premiering in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

9.) Song One     song one
Director: Kate Barker-Froyland
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Johnny Flynn, Mary Steenburgen
THE BUZZ: A touching drama set against the Brooklyn music scene sees Anne Hathaway play a woman who’s been estranged from her family but returns home after her brother suffers an accident that leaves in a coma — grasping to fill in the void left by time — she retraces her brother’s life as an aspiring musician and tracks down his favorite musician to vicariously make up for lost time through music. Definitely bring the tissue.

10.) Wish I Was Here   wish i were here
Director: Zach Braff
Cast: Braff, Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Josh Gad, Joey King
THE BUZZ: Braff’s much touted Kickstarter-funded Dramedy sees him playing a middle-aged husband, father, failed thesp, faced with the daunting task of home-schooling his kids.

Sundance Film Fest runs Jan. 16-26 in Park City, Utah — GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

FILTH is Good! Tops ‘Trainspotting’ by Trace De La Torre

Filth 11 RAT! It’s hard to believe there could ever be a film that tops Danny Boyle’s 1996 ‘Trainspotting’ as far as unapologetic FILTH goes — but Director Jon S. Baird’s ‘Filth’ does just that in his current film release starring Scottish actor James McAvoy.

Filth 8                   Filth 1 Filth 3                filth red

Recently preemed in Edinburgh on Sept. 27th — Scottish audiences showed up in force at theatres knocking out cult classic ‘Trainspotting’ (starring Ewan McGregor) numbers  — $150,000 ($94, 460 in 1996 money) — by nearly double on its opening weekend earning $250,000 at the Scottish Box Office.

Filmed in Edinburgh and Glasgow, ‘Filth’ probes the deteriorating psyche of a damaged man who completely loses his moral compass.

Adapted from the novel by the same name and penned by Scottish writer  — Irvine Welsh — (also penned ‘Trainspotting’) ‘Filth’ sees James McAvoy play against type as depraved Police Officer — Bruce Robertson — indulging in the basest of pleasures — cocaine, alcohol, sexual abuse, mind games — in order to better his chances of winning a much sought after promotion to Detective Inspector and to fill the void left after his wife abandons him, taking their child with her.

Filth 9                        Filth 12

Left to console himself with all these blind, pure, unadulterated pleasures, Bruce fully channels his Machiavellian energy into scheming and undermining the competition at work who set out to solve a racially charged murder case in which Bruce may or may not have played a role in.

Despising his colleagues, Boss, and obsessed with his wife, in time it becomes more evident that Bruce is a drug addicted socio-path suffering from Bipolar Disorder whose mental decline leads to an ultimate breakdown that exposes a twist ending to this sordid tale.

Filth at Castle                   Filth 7

Also starring Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots, Jim Broadbent, and James’ sister — Joy McAvoy — taking a turn as ‘Estelle’ — Filth’ definitely packs a punch.

With no American distributor — YET — early rave reviews predict high box office earnings this weekend when it hits the rest of UK screens — TOMORROW — Oct. 4th.

The depravity of Bruce’s character is bound to make you squirm in your seat — you have been warned.

Here’s a look at the Trailer: